Gospel Reflection – Tuesday, February 20, 2024 – Matthew 6,7-15 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Is 55:10-11)

Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

Thus says the Lord: Just as rain and snow descend from the sky and do not return there without watering the earth, making it fruitful and sprouting seeds for the sower and bread for the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth: It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish my will and succeed in the task for which I sent it.

— The word of the Lord.

— Thanks be to God.

Gospel (Mt 6,7-15)

— PROCLAMATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.

— Glory to you, Lord!

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: “When you pray, do not use many words as the pagans do. They think that they will be heard because of their many words.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. You, therefore, should pray like this: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

— The Gospel of the Lord.

— Praise to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Brothers and sisters in Christ, may the peace of the Lord be with you. Today, I would like to begin our reflection with a scenario familiar to all of us: the experience of typing a search on the internet search engine. What happens when we type a question or a term of interest? In the blink of an eye, we are inundated with a flood of information, a multitude of answers, and opinions. It’s as if the whole world is at our disposal with just a simple click. But amidst this avalanche of data, where do we find true wisdom?

In this liturgy, the Holy Scriptures speak to us about the importance of seeking the true wisdom that comes from God. In the First Reading, from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Is 55:10-11), we find a beautiful metaphor that helps us understand the way God acts in our lives. The prophet tells us: “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

This image of the rain and snow falling from the sky to water and fertilize the earth shows us that the word of God has a transformative power. Just as water is essential for the life of vegetation, the Word of God is essential for the life of our soul. It nourishes us, sustains us, and guides us on the path of truth and wisdom.

And in the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 6:7-15), Jesus teaches us the Lord’s Prayer. He warns us about the importance of avoiding vain repetitions and invites us to approach God with confidence and simplicity. Jesus teaches us that God already knows what we need before we ask, but He desires for us to come to Him in prayer, revealing our hearts and trusting in His providence.

These passages invite us to reflect on how we seek truth and communicate with God. We live in an age of instant information, where we are constantly bombarded with diverse opinions and ideas. But do all these pieces of information lead us to true wisdom? Do all these words bring us closer to God?

Dear friends, it is crucial that we seek discernment and wisdom in our quest for truth. Just as we filter the information we find on the internet, we need to discern the voices around us and the messages conveyed to us. Not everything that glitters is gold, nor does every word we hear lead us to the truth. We need to seek the wisdom that comes from God, the truth that endures, the Word that is living and effective.

And how can we find this true wisdom? Let me share a story with you. Once there was a young man who was lost in a dense and dark forest. He walked aimlessly, disoriented, and afraid. Suddenly, he saw a bright light amidst the trees. He approached and discovered a small oil lamp. Carefully, he lit it, and the light illuminated the path ahead of him. The lamp became his compass in the darkness, guiding him out of the forest and to safety.

My dear brothers and sisters, just as the lamp guided the young man in the story, the Word of God is the light that guides us amidst the darkness of the world. It illuminates our path, reveals the truth, and leads us to the wisdom that comes from above. The Bible is the lamp that we must light in our lives, allowing its light to guide us in all circumstances.

But it is not enough to simply read the Bible; we also need to meditate on it, reflect on its truths, and allow it to transform our hearts. Just as the rain that falls from the sky and brings life to the earth, the Word of God needs to penetrate our being and bear fruit in our lives.

A practical way to apply these teachings is through prayer. Jesus taught us the Lord’s Prayer, a model of how to address God. This prayer is not just a sequence of empty words but an intimate dialogue with our Heavenly Father. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we express our faith, our dependence on God, and our willingness to do His will.

When we pray, we make room for God to act in our lives. He knows our needs even before we ask, but when we place ourselves before Him in prayer, we demonstrate our trust in His providence and our willingness to follow His ways.

And how can we make our prayer more meaningful and profound? Let me share another story with you. Once, a young man who was learning to play the piano went to his teacher and said, “Master, I practice every day, but I feel like my songs have no life, no emotion.” The master looked at him and said, “Young man, you are playing the notes, but you are not feeling the music. You need to put your soul into what you play.”

My friends, this story reminds us that prayer is not just a list of requests but an expression of our relationship with God. We need to put our soul into prayer, open our hearts, and allow our words to be filled with faith and emotion. When we pray with sincerity and surrender, our prayer becomes alive and powerful.

And how can we apply these principles in our daily lives? Let me offer some practical suggestions. First, set aside daily time to read and meditate on the Word of God. Make the Bible an integral part of your lives, allowing its truths to penetrate your hearts and shape your actions.

Second, cultivate a life of constant prayer. Do not limit your prayer to specific moments of the day but seek continuous communion with God in all circumstances. Talk to Him in your moments of joy and sorrow, in your doubts and uncertainties, in your victories and defeats. Open your hearts and allow Him to be a constant presence in your lives.

And finally, live according to the wisdom found in the Word of God. Do not settle for just listening and reading but put into practice what you learn. If the Word of God teaches us about love for our neighbor, look for opportunities to serve and help others. If it calls us to humility, cultivate a posture of humility in all areas of your lives.

Dear brothers and sisters, true wisdom is within our reach. God offers us His Word as a source of life and guidance. Let us take advantage of this gift and allow it to transform our lives. May our actions be guided by divine truth, and may our prayer be a reflection of our faith and trust in God.

May the rain of God’s Word fall upon us, watering and fertilizing our lives. May the light of truth guide us amidst the darkness of the world. May our prayer be an intimate dialogue with our Heavenly Father. And may, as we live according to the teachings of Scripture, we may be witnesses of divine love, grace, and hope in our world.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.